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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Senior citizens bill sent to Malacañang

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The House of Representatives is now awaiting the approval and signature of President Rodrigo Duterte on the proposed “National Commission of Senior Citizens Act” which the chamber transmitted to Malacañang last Wednesday.

The Senate last May 20 adopted House Bill 8837 as an amendment to Senate Bill 2159. Both bills seek to create the National Commission of Senior Citizens, provide for its functions,  abolish the National Coordinating Council and Monitoring Board, amending for the purpose Republic Act 7432, as amended, and appropriate funds therefor.

House Acting Secretary-General Dante Roberto Maling last June 19 transmitted to the Senate the enrolled copies of the consolidated HB 8837 and SB 2159, for the signature of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and Senate Secretary lawyer Myra Marie Villarica. 

Then on June 25, the signed enrolled copies of the consolidated bills were sent by the Senate to the House through a letter addressed to former Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

House Bill 8837 or the proposed “National Commission of Senior Citizens Act” is authored by Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. of Senior Citizen; while Senate Bill 2159 is authored by Senators Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Sonny Angara, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

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House Bill 8837 declares it is the policy of the State to adopt measures whereby the country’s senior citizens are assisted and appreciated by the community as a whole, provide services and activities beneficial to senior citizens, their families and the communities they serve and establish community-based health and rehabilitation, educational and socioeconomic programs for all senior citizens. Maricel V. Cruz

Consistent with this policy, the State shall promote the advocacy of and collaboration between different stakeholders and senior citizens to ensure the effective implementation of various programs and services, particularly on the development of senior citizens and advancing their health and well-being, and ensuring a supportive and enabling environment for the elderly.

The bill provides for the creation of the National Commission of Senior Citizens, referred to as Commission, which shall be under the Office of the President. The Commission shall establish its principal office in the National Capital Region and may set up field offices in coordination with appropriate agencies.

The Commission shall be composed of a chairperson and six commissioners and shall act as a collegial body. 

The chairperson shall be the chief executive officer of the Commission. 

The commissioners shall represent different geographical regions of the country and shall hold office in their respective regions. 

The full Commission shall meet at least once every month.

The chairperson and commissioners shall have a term of six years, without prejudice to reappointment of the President. 

Of those first appointed, the chairperson and two commissioners shall hold office for six years, two commissioners shall hold office for four years, and two commissioners shall hold office for two years. Appointment to any vacancy shall only be for the unexpired term of the predecessor. 

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